2018 Draft Preview – Day 2

Posted: April 27th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

Let’s focus on the 2nd round. The Eagles have pick 52. As frustrating as it will be to wait for the Eagles to finally pick, there are plenty of good players on the board. There will be good choices.

*** 1st Rounders still left ***

WR: Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton

TE: Dallas Goedert

OL: Will Hernandez, James Daniels, Connor Williams

DE: Harold Landry

S: Justin Reid

CB: Josh Jackson, Isaiah Oliver

*** 2nd Round ***

QB:

RB: Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones, Nick Chubb, Kerryon Johnson

WR: Anthony Miller, Dante Pettis, D.J. Chark

TE:

OL: Tyler Crosby, Martinas Rankin, Brian O’Neill, Austin Corbett

DE: Uchenna Nwosu, Sam Hubbard, Kemoko Turay, Rasheem Green, Josh Sweat

DT: Harrison Phillips, B.J. Hill, Nathan Shepard

LB: Darius Leonard, Lorenzo Carter

IB:

S: Ronnie Harrison, Jessie Bates, Tarvarius Moore

CB: Donte Jackson

That is more than 20 players. The Eagles are going to have good choices. Not all of those guys will be on the Eagles board, but then again there will be other players picked who aren’t on the list above. The Eagles will have good options.

Here are the guys who I think have a chance to be on the board at 52 and make some sense for the Eagles.

DE Kemoko Turay
RB Kerryon Johnson
WR Christian Kirk
DE Uchenna Nwosu
CB Donte Jackson
OL Austin Corbett
LB Darius Leonard

Let me offer some short thoughts on the players.

DE Kemoko Turay – 6-5, 253 – Rutgers – Freshman All-American who then battled injuries for two years. Got healthy in 2017 and played well. Really opened eyes at the Senior Bowl, showing just how explosive he can be. You would draft him more for potential than production, but could develop into a good starting DE in the NFL so might just be worth pick 52. Also feels like the Eagles would like to add one more pass rusher this year. They could lose a few guys next year.

RB Kerryon Johnson – 5-11, 213 – Auburn – The Eagles have publicly shown no interest in KJ, but he looks like an Eagles RB. Can catch the ball. Can block. Has terrific feet and is able to make defenders miss. Just feels like one of those players who could turn into a monster in the NFL.

WR Christian Kirk – 5-10, 201 – Texas A&M – Dynamic returner and outstanding WR. Can thrive in the slot or play outside. Scored 26 receiving TDs in three years and 7 return TDs. Kirk is a playmaker any time he gets the ball in his hands.

DE Uchenna Nwosu – 6-2, 251 – USC – Simply put, a football player. Outstanding pass rusher for USC, but so much more than that. Dropped back and played in coverage. Had an uncanny ability to jump at the LOS and knock down passes. Credited with 13 PDs this year. Very disruptive player. Not a huge guy or special athlete, but jumps off the tape when you watch USC play. I could see Joe Douglas and the Eagles coaches loving him.

CB Donte Jackson – 5-10, 178 – LSU – Versatile DB with explosive speed and some return ability. Could compete for the nickel spot right away. Could also help on STs. Lacks ideal size, but that build can work in the slot. Ran 4.32 at the Combine.

OL Austin Corbett – 6-4, 306 – Nevada – Played LT in college, but projects to OG or OC in the NFL. Outstanding run blocker with a real nasty streak. Game tape is a lot of fun to watch. Doesn’t just want to block defenders. Wants to punish them. Eagles could use versatile OL to offer depth at OT, OG and even C.

LB Darius Leonard – 6-2, 234 – SC State – Star player at the I-AA level who went to the Senior Bowl and stood out as the best LB down there. Could play MLB or OLB in the 4-3. Has good instincts and always seems to be around the ball. Has good range. Runs well and can hit/tackle. Would offer depth in case the Eagles move on from Jordan Hicks or Nigel Bradham in the future.    Read the rest of this entry »


Analyzing the Move

Posted: April 27th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

I anticipated the Eagles moving back. I figured they would drop back to around 40 and then add a 4th round pick.

Nope.

The Eagles dealt pick 32 and a 4th (pick 132) to the Ravens for pick 52, pick 125 and a 2nd rounder next year.

This is a complicated move. It doesn’t help you at all in 2018. To some of you, that makes this a bad deal. There is real value in adding a 2nd round pick in 2019. That could turn out to be a key player, especially with the Ravens looking like a mediocre team.

It is easy to get caught up in the present. “We want more picks and we want them right now!!!” Sometimes you have to look at the big picture. Howie Roseman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so he can make deals with the future in mind. To him, the 2nd rounder was too good to pass on. As frustrating as it is right now, it very well could be the smart move.

The Eagles will have the 20th pick of the 2nd round. There are still going to be good choices there. I’ll get that post up in a bit, but there are plenty of good options left. Remember that the Eagles are bringing back almost all the starters from a Super Bowl team. Picking at 32 vs 52 isn’t likely to be the difference in this team repeating.

The Eagles had key roster holes last April and spent an early 2nd round pick on Sidney Jones, who only played a few snaps all year. This team is fairly set. Dropping down from 32 to 52 won’t make or break them.

I know some of you had your hearts set on Derrius Guice. He wasn’t going to be the pick at 32 if the team did stay put. Teams are down on him after meetings and workouts. There is something going on there. Let’s put it this way…as good as Guice is (and he’s really talented), he’s not on all 32 draft boards.

In terms of still wanting extra picks, the Eagles can deal Mychal Kendricks for a 5th or 6th. Or they can use him to move up in a round if there is a player they covet.

This probably won’t be the last trade Howie makes this weekend, but I do think this is the last one that will involve adding future picks.

2019

1st
2nd – via trade
2nd
3rd
4th
4th – estimated comp pick
5th
6th
6th – estimated comp pick
7th
7th – via trade

Howie now has plenty of ammo for next year.

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Eagles Move Back

Posted: April 26th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Eagles Move Back

Howie traded back.

Analysis to come in a few minutes.

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2018 Eagles Draft Preview

Posted: April 26th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on 2018 Eagles Draft Preview

OVERVIEW

The Eagles are Super Bowl champs. They have a talented roster that is fairly set. They don’t have a full set of picks. This is an unusual set of circumstances, to say the least. The Eagles do have some needs, but the overall theme for the draft should be adding young talent. This isn’t a great draft class, but it is deep at some positions and the Eagles can bolster their depth in multiple areas.

The picks:

1 – 32
4 -130
4 – 132
5 – 169
6 – 206
7 – 250

The needs:

Slot
TE
RB
S
LB

The Eagles need some youth at other positions, but those are more about the future than the present.

With Patrick Robinson gone in free agency, the team could use someone to come in and challenge for the slot spot right away. This could be pick 32 or a mid-rounder. The Eagles might play Jalen Mills or Sidney Jones inside, but would love a rookie to come in and make a strong push for that job.

LeGarrette Blount also left. The Eagles would like someone to add to the RB mix. I think there is also a concern about the future. The team may not want to pay Jay Ajayi big money down the line so having a rookie to develop at that spot would make sense.

The Eagles need depth at S. Corey Graham might retire. Chris Maragos is coming off an injury and is better on STs than defense. Unless the team secretly loves Tre Sullivan, they really do need some depth at this spot.

LB could be set if everyone is healthy, but it feels like the Eagles still would like to add another body to the mix.

There is always a need for young talent on the lines.      Read the rest of this entry »


Let the Board Come to You

Posted: April 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Let the Board Come to You

There are a lot of cliches when it comes to the NFL draft. One of the good ones is “Let the draft board come to you”. This means that you don’t reach for players. You have to be patient and let the picks ahead of you happen and then take the best player available when it is your pick.

The point of this is that teams spend from June-January scouting and then spend another few months doing more draft preparations. That information is used to build the draft board. Teams have to trust the board during the draft. Don’t get too cute and throw away all those months of preparation. The board will tell you who the good players are. Take one.

I mention this because this is a tricky time for the Eagles. They just won the Super Bowl and have a strong roster already in place. There is a good mixture of veterans, players in their prime and even young talent. You could argue that they have the freedom to do just about whatever they want in the draft.

The Eagles need to be careful.

Back in 2012 the Niners had what looked to be the best roster in the league. They were loaded with players all over the place. They looked like they could turn into a real juggernaut. The Niners were good again in 2013, but quickly went the other way. You can argue about the QB situation or Jim Harbaugh or ownership, but one of the big problems is that they quit drafting well.

In 2012, the team spent a 1st round pick on WR A.J. Jenkins. That was a major reach and he was an awful pro. He was gone from SF after one season and only caught 17 passes in his short career. He makes DGB look like Canton material. In the 2nd round, the Niners took LaMichael James, the small RB from Oregon. He ran for 193 yards over the course of four years.

The 2013 showed some hubris by taking major chances on hurt players. Tank Carradine had 1st round talent, but SF got him in the 2nd because of his injury. He has stayed somewhat healthy in the NFL, but only has 5.5 sacks in four years. RB Marcus Lattimore, a 4th round pick, never played a down in the NFL.

Good teams must draft well to stay good.

Seattle won the Super Bowl in 2013 and just missed in 2014. Now that team has major issues. Their top pick last year was DL Malik McDowell, who they are considering cutting. Seattle drafted really well when they put together their SB roster, but they just aren’t hitting on those picks in recent years. Remember that Russell Wilson was a 3rd rounder, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor both 5th round picks. Recent 5th rounders have been Jimmy Staten, Tye Smith and Quinton Jefferson. Those guys aren’t key role players, let alone impact starters.

The Eagles have a chance to go on a really good run for the next few years with Carson Wentz and the talent around him. But the team must draft well.

I do think the presence of Joe Douglas will be a big help. He is a former scout and will be a big believe in trusting the board and all the work the scouts have done for the last 10 or so months. Joe won’t overthink things.

The Eagles have looked at a lot of DBs, WRs, TEs and RBs who could make sense at 32. Why? Those are the positions where guys are likely to be available at that spot. There isn’t going to be a good DE on the board at 32.

The Eagles have looked at some DEs who would make sense in the mid-2nd, in case they want to move back. The DEs would be good value there and the team will have a good feel for them if they are on the board after a trade back into the 2nd round.

It feels like the Eagles are being smart and are prepared for a variety of scenarios.

*****

I posted some more draft notes over at ScoutsNotebook.

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